This year’s Kachemak Heritage Land Trust Land at Heart Award recipient is no stranger to the mission of conservation on the Kenai Peninsula. Serving as one of the first presidents of KHLT, Barb Seaman was honored with the award on Nov. 4 for her “distinguished contributions to land and conservation on the Kenai Peninsula,” according to a KHLT press release.
KHLT is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to permanently protecting important fish, bird and wildlife habitats, as well as recreational land use, on the Kenai Peninsula. KHLT was founded in 1989 as the first land trust in Alaska and continues to serve the Kenai Peninsula’s wildlife and lands.
“After being out of Alaska for a few years, I am so happy to be back in this dynamic and supportive community,” Seaman was quoted in the release. “Homer has an exciting future in terms of land conservation. Working for KHLT for 18 years has left me feeling immortal — we’ve created a legacy of land preservation for future generations. I am so grateful for my time at KHLT and I look forward to what the organization can do in the future.”
Seaman received the award at the Calvin & Coyle Trail, a KHLT-founded community trail near Paul Banks Elementary School that Seaman was integral in developing and maintaining, according to the release.
“Barb’s passion, talent, and persistence created a strong and sustainable organization, and her influence is felt throughout the land trust community in Alaska and beyond,” said Marie McCarty, current KHLT executive director. “Barb’s vision and love of conservation form the heart of KHLT. Barb’s contributions to land conservation will last forever.”
Seaman served as president of the organization from 1990 to 1994 before becoming the executive director. With Seaman’s guidance, KHLT became a nationally-recognized nonprofit for its excellence.
“As Executive Director, Barb adhered to the highest ethical, ecological, environmental and conservation standards, providing solid fundamentals for KHLT to grow into the strong and respected organization that it is today,” states the press release.
Now 32 years after its founding, KHLT holds 28 conservation easements and owns 18 properties, including wetlands, peatlands, riparian habitats and habitat corridors, on thousands of acres on the Kenai Peninsula.
“It’s all coming to fruition. There are all kinds of great projects and great possibilities here in Homer,” Seaman said in an interview with Homer News about the continued work of the land trust. “… The projects I’ve had and helped complete are going to benefit Homer for a long, long time. I don’t want to sound self-centered, but it feels good to have made such contributions to this place that I love. “
Seaman becomes the 12th person to receive the Land at Heart Award since it was first awarded in 2014.
Previous winners of the Land at Heart award are:
2014: Lynn Whitmore
2015: Toby Tyler
2016: Carmen and Conrad Field
2017: Ed Bailey and Nina Faust
2018: Daisy Lee Bitter
2019: Ed Berg
2020: Robert Archibald, Bill Hague and Dave Brann
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